Tesla CEO Elon Musk has acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to a US securities filing.
The news sent the social media giant’s shares soaring about 25% in pre-market trading.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said that the Tesla founder bought 73,486,938 Twitter shares on March 14.
Based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday, the stake is worth $2.89bn (£2.20bn), making him one of the largest shareholders in the company and it is more than four times the 2.25% holding of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
The billionaire is a regular Twitter user with over 80 million followers, although recently he said he is giving “serious thought” to building a fresh social media platform.
In late March, Musk questioned his followers on whether they thought the social media platform encouraged free speech.
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”
He often uses his Twitter handle to share updates from the companies he owns – among them SpaceX and Neuralink. He is also known for frequently sharing memes, adding to his popularity among fans.
However, some of his posts have attracted controversy.
In 2021, he tweeted in response to a claim, made by the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), that just 2% of Mr Musk’s wealth could help to solve world hunger.
In October, Mr Musk said he would sell $6bn in Tesla stock and donate it to the WFP, provided it could describe “exactly how $6bn will solve world hunger”.
Mr Musk saw the valuation of his Tesla car company surpass a market value of $1 trillion last autumn, making it the fifth such firm to reach the milestone, after Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google-owner Alphabet.
Moments later, he took to Twitter to ask users if he should sell a 10% stake in the electric carmaker.
Way over 3.5 million Twitter users voted, with nearly 58% voting in favour of the share sale leading to Musk selling around $5bn (£3.7bn) of shares in the firm in November.
You may also like: